The scenic outlook from Tunnel View

Over our first Saturday here, we took a trip to Yosemite National Park. Our excellent trip organisers, Hei Kern and Ashwin (thank you so much guys!!!), managed to hire a 40-seater bus to bring us, along with our new friends to Yosemite National Park.

We left Stanford at 5.30am, and cruised through the California sunrise. 3 hours into the ride, we stopped by a supermarket to get brunch supplies. As we got closer to our destination, the drive became more intimidating. The bus snaked uphill, really close to the edge of the rocks. Dangerous stuff. The 6-hour ride was made enjoyable by scenic views of the tanned summer hills and of course, sleep.

A group photo with many unpaid calefares

Since we went at the start of the long 4th of July weekend, the place was considerably packed. But, having survived peak-hour + train breakdown Bishan morning crowds, I’m sure many of us weren’t too bothered by it. The views were nonetheless breathtaking. Personally, the geographer in me got extremely excited. Chunks of words from the Olevel physical geography textbook flashed before my eyes. All the over-simplified theories of landform formation from the A level syllabus ran through my mind once again.

Yosemite Falls (kidding, Yosemite still stands tall, at 3,997m at its highest point!)
There were probably more people than trees on that day

The bus dropped us off at Yosemite Village and we began our hike. Some of us attempted the hike up to Vernal Falls, while others, to Mirror Lake. The weather was perfect. The air was warm (a great relief after a week of cold summer nights) and not too humid.

What’s your favourite music genre? I like rock. It’s cool. (Literally! The temperatures in between and under the rocks were noticeably lower)

I followed the team up to Mirror Lake. The hike was easy and there was no steep climb. Altogether, our round-trip hike took us 3.5 hours.

Never too fancy for a hike
Went to Mirror Lake to reflect upon ourselves
Definitely a Jenga alternative

We departed Yosemite Village at 6.00pm, feeling a lot more fulfilled. Our souls were well fed… but our stomaches weren’t, so we made an impromptu stop for a quick dinner.

On the drive back, us urban dwellers were fascinated by beef

Riding on Route 120 through the night, we were accompanied by the summer constellations and rock classics (cue Hotel California).

By Afiffah

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